As parents, there are lots of different things we can do for our children every day. But what is most important for their wellbeing?
It is one of the simplest things to do yet, sometimes because parents are so busy the one thing, they should be doing with their children gets forgotten. It isn't the parents' fault and as we know, life is busy and there is always something else to do.
Cleaning, cooking and managing the family’s mad schedule is a lot of work and throw in siblings and caring for parents or working well, you get the picture, it isn’t pretty.
Regardless of all that, the most important thing that parents can do is make some quality time with their kids, and not just for your kids’ sake but for yours too.
Connecting with your child is vital to the whole relationship and building trust within it. As strange as it sounds, like any relationship, a parent and child relationship needs work and nurturing.
Children demand a lot of time but that is one thing as what your child really needs is attention and undivided attention regularly – not always, but enough that they feel special. Spending time with your child isn’t a chore but sometimes if your child is acting up, it may seem that way.
Work on ways to make your time together fun by doing something you love, whether it is a walk to the park or staying at home watching movies together. It is good if the time is just you and your child, but if you can’t, then make it a family routine to spend regular time together - especially if everyone is busy during the week.
Let’s not forget the impact of busy lives has on us. It makes us tired, irritable and stressed - all the things that children notice. So, if you can give them some time, they will appreciate having your attention with you in a good mood.
Children often feel parents’ stress and they know how busy family life is, but even a simple thing like telling them you love them every day and every night before bed shows them how much you care for them.
A story at bedtime is another good way to connect with your child and even 15 minutes of reading is a good way to spend quality time with your youngster.
Eating meals together is another easy thing to do, and paying attention to your kids’ good behaviour instead of just their bad behaviour. Kids will act out to get your attention and this is usually the root of bad behaviour.
Notice their good behaviour and they won’t need to do that, and rather than spending time cleaning the house ask the kids to help or make it a game. Tell your kids that doing so means you will have more time to do something they love later. The same goes for dinner - get all the family to help and at bedtime, change the kids’ bedtimes so you can get some time with them to say goodnight properly.